It happened in my salon, 6 people resigned all within a few weeks.  My business coach at the time told me to “get in there and find out why!”  As I started asking, the same name kept coming up. My staff was being bullied on my day off by the person I had left in charge to lead the team. I tried to talk to her. She soon quite too. It wasn’t entirely her fault. That was how she had grown up as a child, in an abusive home. She didn’t really see that she was bullying them. She thought she was protecting me and the business, it was her way of being strong and protective. I was sad, really sad about the whole situation. It was then and there that I decided that I had to set the tone for my business early and often. I never ever, wanted to own a business where people felt bullied.  As a business owner, your customers and services are not your only two concerns. Your staff needs to be a top priority too.

Your staff will form relationships with customers and each other. How those relationships develop is up to your leadership and you have to set the example .The team will follow. Coaching with compassion at all times takes practice and patience. Who hasn’t rolled their eyes when someone didn’t fold the towels the night before.  Or a team member shows up late to work and their client is waiting. And you have to control that urge to text  other staff members about how annoyed you may be with one of your staff.  It takes constant communication and extreme effort to try to understand each other. Our situation, our upbringing, how our parents handled frustrating situations at home all play a role in how we evaluate a situation. As much as we think our team should be mind readers to what we expect, they are not!  It’s taken me years to develop this skill at work.  Sitting with team members and trying to understand their situation or circumstances and helping them understand each other and how they perceive a situation and what may really be going on takes a leader CONSTANT communication without assumptions. It is time consuming but essential in developing a trusting team and reaching the companies goals.

I also help other team members find compassion for each other, another human being, who may be struggling or having a difficult time rather than reprimanding or writing them up.  I think of my staff as I do my children. They are not perfect, but I love them all just the same and am here to help them grow in their lives and their careers. Without them, and each other your business can never reach it’s full potential. As your business grows, your staff needs will grow as well! And more of your time should be spent coaching them.  Having a team that is willing to be open with you and each other takes time. They need to feel safe, heard and understood. To be able to come to you and other leaders in your company to express their concerns and have a safe place where they can be heard, feel better, move forward with resolution or atleast understanding. Let’s face it, we spend more time with our co-workers than we do with our families.  We might as well be happy while we are at work, right? It’s true that your team is an integral part of your business who interact with the customers and each other. So how exactly do you coach them with compassion?

Coaching with compassion allows you to connect with your team and foster a work environment that is positive, safe, never judgmental. Never with harsh, angry words. Sometimes you need to get your point across, I get it. Using compassion helps people understand rather than just be told. Implementing this method of leadership helps you gain a better understanding of your team’s values and purpose. Not only are you able to connect on a deeper level, but coaching with compassion can make your team feel twice as motivated. Positivity can be infectious; once your team sees how you treat them, they will treat you and other team members that way. As my business coach always said when a team member was under performing – “Coach ’em up!

Simple Tips for Coaching With Compassion

Coaching with compassion is easy once you set the tone and make it known that this is how things work around here. But it starts with you getting to know your employees. Sit down with your staff and discuss their sense of purpose, values, and dreams. Prompt your employees with questions such as:

Why do we treat every team member with respect at work?

If your team member’s first response is “to make money,” explain that you can make money anywhere. Ask your staff member to explain specifically why they have chosen this job, out of every other job out there, what made them choose this business. What kind of place do they want to work in.  A chaotic stressful one or a busy, growing, empowering one?

What kind of person do you wish to be?

This question will provide you insight into what kind of life they want to live and how they can benefit your business and how you can help them reach their goals.

After carefully listening to your team’s responses, help them see the larger picture. Explain just how vital their role is and how they fit into the overall purpose of your business. Be sure to emphasize how their role not only affects the business but how they have the power to influence their surroundings.

Show them how they can and will one day lead junior employees and how they can help them grow. How they can give back to their team members and industry.  Think about the most favorite boss you ever had. Was he or she harsh and irritable or firm but kind and caring? Willing to teach and mentor you? My favorite boss, Ted, would take time every Friday and talk to me about my previous week at work, my prospects for next week and then we would each talk a little about ourselves. He was personable and also gave me tips on how to handle any challenging tasks I needed to tackle to grow my customer base or an upcoming meeting with a new prospect. I knew he was there to help me AND the business grow.  I always felt like he listened. He always complimented me and my efforts- often!  It was like a treat to be called into his office on Friday’s and I always looked forward to it.

And now you get to choose, what kind of culture do you want to have, how do you want to lead your team? It all starts with you. Need more tips on coaching a team with compassion. Email me at [email protected].